Civil Justice and Rights, Future of Legal Profession and Court Funding Crisis Among Issues at ABA Meeting in Toronto
WASHINGTON, July 21, 2011 — Civil liberties and security 10 years after 9/11; immigration issues, including lessons learned from the Postville, Iowa, raids; and the courts’ funding issues are among the key local topics that will be on tap at the 2011 American Bar Association Annual Meeting, Aug. 4– 9, in Toronto.
With more than 1,400 top-quality legal programs and events, and presentations by the foremost law experts and speakers, the ABA Annual Meeting is the nation’s premier gathering of legal professionals.
On Aug. 7, retired Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court Sandra Day O’Connor, and ABA Task Force on Preservation of the Justice System Co-Chairs David Boies and Theodore B. Olson will take part in “Current Crisis in Court Funding: Efficiency, Effectiveness, Accountability and Education,” from 2 – 4 p.m. in Room 714A, 700 Level, South Building, Metro Toronto Convention Centre.
Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court Stephen G. Breyer is presenting the keynote address, and Chief Justice of Canada Beverley McLachlin will give opening remarks during the Opening Assembly on Aug. 6. The event begins at 5:30 p.m., and will take place in Koerner Hall, The Historic Royal Conservatory of Music, 273 Bloor Street West.
On Aug. 7, the ABA Commission on Women in the Profession will host its 21st Annual Margaret Brent Women Lawyers of Achievement Luncheon at the MTCC, beginning at 11:45 a.m., Exhibit Hall F/G, 800 Level. The Margaret Brent Women Lawyers of Achievement Award, established by the commission in 1991, recognizes and celebrates the accomplishments of women lawyers who have excelled in their field and have paved the way to success for other women lawyers.
The 566-member House of Delegates, the association’s policymaking body, will meet on Aug. 8 and 9 in the MTCC, Exhibit Hall F/G, 800 Level, South Building. Among the policy recommendations expected to come before the House are ones relating to judicial disqualification, student loan debt, reporting of employment data of law school graduates, and disaster preparedness for the legal community. Deliberations begin at 8:30 a.m. each day.
In addition to considering policy recommendations and voting on resolutions, the House of Delegates will bestow David Boies and Theodore B. Olson, co-chairs of the ABA Task Force on Preservation of the Justice System, with the ABA Medal, the association’s highest honor, on Aug. 8.
Additional programming (all of which will take place in the MTCC, South Building, unless otherwise noted) includes:
“The Battle over Birthright Citizenship: History, International Perspectives, and the Path Ahead” Recent calls to end birthright citizenship in the United States have fueled a heated debate. What impact would changes to our current birthright citizenship rule have on immigration and the U.S. population? Is there any legal basis for such a change, and what are the greater societal implications for such a major shift in policy? What does the historical record tell us about the extent and limitations of birthright citizenship? This discussion will look at these questions, as well how other nations address citizenship.
10:30 a.m. – noon, Room 718A, 700 Level
“Class Action Litigation After Dukes v. Walmart” The Supreme Court’s decision in the Dukes v. Walmart case will have far reaching implications not only for gender discrimination suits against Walmart, but for future attempted class actions and discrimination suits against employers. Speakers include John C. Coffee Jr., director of the Center on Corporate Governance at Columbia University Law School, and T. Warren Jackson, vice president and associate general counsel at DirecTV Group.
1 – 2:30 p.m., Forest Hill Ballroom, 1st Floor, Toronto Marriott Bloor Yorkville
“Twenty Five Years and Counting: A Look at Justice Scalia’s Tenure on the Supreme Court” By any measure, Justice Scalia must be counted among the most influential justices ever to sit on the court. During his quarter century on the court, he has changed the way that lawyers and judges think about the law. This panel will examine his jurisprudence and its place in American legal history. Panelists include former solicitor general of the United States, Theodore B. Olson.
8:30 – 10 a.m., Room 809, 800 Level
“Shattering the Legal Glass Ceiling: The Myths and Realities of Law-Firm Compensation” Although women account for more than a third of the legal profession and half of students in law school, reports demonstrate female lawyers’ median income is only 74 percent of their male counterparts. This expert panel will discuss these reports, the law and how this disparity affects the practice of law, while recommending best practices and legal strategies to achieve pay equity and promote diversity in the legal profession.
8:30 – 10 a.m., Room 718A, 700 Level
“The Once and Future Firm: Facts v. Fiction” A panel of legal thought leaders explores the evolving business model for law firms, large and small, including how firms will be organized, operate and deliver services to clients. Panelists will also address the economics of law practice and the job market for lawyers.
8:30 – 10 a.m., Room 803A, 800 Level
“Our Highest Courts: A Comparison of the Canadian and U.S. Supreme Courts” A panel of justices and legal appellate advocates from the Canadian and U.S. Supreme Courts will conduct a roundtable on the courts’ differences and similarities, focusing on constitutional roles especially in light of terrorism and civil rights issues. Panelists include Drew S. Days III, New Haven, Conn.; Ken Starr, Waco, Texas; Justice W. Ian C. Binnie, Ottawa, Ontario; and Thomas Heinztman, Toronto.
8:30 – 10 a.m., Room 716A, 700 Level
“Access Across America: First Report of the Civil Justice Infrastructure Mapping Project” Every day, millions of Americans confront civil justice problems, but there is little known about how they experience or respond to them. Most people do not seek an attorney and neither do they go to court. However, there is help for them. Each year, more than one billion dollars is contributed to fund civil legal assistance for low- and moderate-income people. This session will explore the first report by the Civil Justice Infrastructure Mapping Project, which describes on a state-by-state basis, the fundamental access to justice infrastructure that exists in the United States today. Professor Rebecca L. Sandefur, senior research social scientist at the American Bar Foundation, will present findings from the first phase of the project, with a panel discussion to follow.
8:30 – 10 a.m. Room 801B, 800 Level
“The Postville Raids and Agri-Processors Case: Internal Investigations, Criminal Prosecutions, and Immigration Consequences for Corporations & Individuals,” The unprecedented workplace raid in Postville, Iowa, that grabbed the nation’s attention will be the source of discussion at this panel. The topics for discussion will include the subsequent criminal prosecutions of the workers and the corporation’s top officials; relevant case law and changes that have occurred since the raid three years ago; and the swift prosecutions of the workers, lack of immigration advice, and due process concerns in the proceedings.
8:30 – 10 a.m., Room 705, 700 Level
“Commission on Ethics 20/20 Public Hearing” The ABA Commission on Ethics 20/20 was created in August 2009 to examine the ethical and regulatory impact of advancing technology and increasing globalization on the legal profession and to make recommendations, where appropriate, to the ABA House of Delegates.
9 a.m. – noon, Delta Chelsea Hotel, 33 Gerrard St. West, Mountbatten Salon A, Second Floor
“’Implicit Bias’ and The Myth of Equal Justice” will probe how unconscious sources of intuition about race and gender distort judgment in both criminal and civil cases in the courtroom and beyond.
10:30 a.m. – noon, Room 701A, 700 Level
“9/11 – A Decade Later, and a World Apart” The tragic events of 9/11 raised unprecedented issues in nearly every area of law—international trade, national security, privacy and civil liberties, criminal justice, immigration and employment law, financial regulation and more. As the 10th anniversary of 9/11 nears, an expert panel will explore how the legal landscape has changed over the past decade and what the future is likely to hold.
10:30 – noon, Room 701B, 700 Level
“The Road to Independence: 101 Women’s Journeys to Starting their Own Law Firms” The ABA Commission on Women in the Profession’s newest publication, “The Road to Independence,” recounts the experiences and insights of 101 women lawyers who have taken the often difficult steps of creating a law firm of their own. Panelists will discuss why an increasing number of women are doing so, and will share lessons learned.
3:30 – 5 p.m., Caledon, Main Level, InterContinental Toronto Centre
“Multijurisdictional, Cross-Border and International Class Actions: Where Are We Heading?” Class litigation now crosses borders and national legal systems. Senior judges from the United States and Canada will forecast the future in light of the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent guidance on access to American courts for foreign class members and the ongoing work of several national and international task forces.
3:45 – 5:15 p.m. Room 718A, 700 Level
“The Annual Dinner in Honor of the Judiciary and Preservation of the Justice Center John Marshall Award” will begin at 7 p.m. at the Fairmont Royal York, Concert Hall, Convention Floor. This year’s awards will be presented to retired Supreme Court Associate Justice Sandra Day O’Connor and former ABA president and founder, president and CEO of the World Justice Project, William H. Neukom.
“Commission on Civic Education in the Nation’s Schools Panel Discussion”
Retired Supreme Court Associate Justice Sandra Day O’Connor will serve as a panelist during this presidential initiative program. Supreme Court Associate Justice Stephen G. Breyer will serve as panelist.
10 – 11:30 a.m., Ballroom B, Lower Level, InterContinental Toronto Centre
“WikiLeaks, National Security and Free Speech” The program will look at the issues raised by the WikiLeaks release of documents, balancing national security concerns against protections for free speech and freedom of information. Speakers will look at the controversy from both a Canadian and U.S. perspective.
3:45 – 5:15 p.m., Room 803B, 800 Level
“The Globalization of Anti-Corruption Law” will take a close look at new and complex money laundering and fraudulent financial schemes rampant in today’s uncertain global economy, white collar criminal prosecution and practice, and globalization of anti-corruption investigations and prosecutions.
10:30 – noon, Room 701A, 700 Level, South Building
“Investigating and Forgetting on the Web” A panel of Canadian and American attorneys will examine the privacy, liability and other potential problems raised by the constantly expanding social media universe. The panel will examine potential solutions, including whether the use of “cleaners,” social media expiration dates and other mechanisms to purge online histories could benefit employees or hamper employers, and if so, what the legal implications would be of using these new technologies.
10:30 a.m. – noon, Room 701B, 700 Level
“Reconciling the First Amendment and Antidiscrimination Policies: The Implications of Christian Legal Society v. Martinez” in Christian Legal Society v. Martinez, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that a California public law school did not violate the First Amendment in denying official recognition to a Christian student group that effectively excluded homosexual students from membership based on their beliefs and behaviors. This session will explore the implications of Martinez for the enforceability of a public university’s antidiscrimination policies in the context of contending First Amendment concerns, including freedom of association and the free exercise of religion.
2 – 3:30 p.m., Room 803B, 800 Level
During the Annual Meeting, accredited journalists should register on-site at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, South Building, Level 800, Hall E, beginning at 8 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 4. A separate press room behind the main registration area will be open daily from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., and will close one hour after the adjournment of the House of Delegates on Aug. 9.
Online registration for news reporters is easier than ever. Credential guidelines are at http://www.abanow.org/reporter-resources/media-credentials/.
With nearly 400,000 members, the American Bar Association is the largest voluntary professional membership organization in the world. As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law.
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